Power of dressing for success

BRIDGET JONES
Last updated 05:00 24/11/2013
Jaime Ridge
JOSEPH JOHNSON/ Fairfax NZ
LOOKING GOOD: Jaime Ridge believes presenting yourself well can go a long way toward getting a job.

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She's known for gracing the Best Dressed lists and now she wants to help other women feel great in their clothes.

Jaime Ridge is the face of The Great Designer Sale, a fundraiser for charity Dress For Success Auckland on November 29 and 30, in which designer clothing - both pre-loved and new - can be snapped up for as little as $5, with nothing on sale for more than $50.

"I really like how creative Dress For Success is and what they do to help people," says Ridge.

"It's not your usual charity. Plus, I love fashion, I love clothes, I love the idea of people going in and coming out different - I find that really exciting."

Dress For Success (dressforsuccess.org) helps women facing tough times find an outfit that makes them look and feel fantastic for job interviews.

Every woman receives a top-to-toe dressing from a specialist volunteer - clothing, makeup, jewellery, shoes, a handbag and anything else she will need to make a good first impression.

Clients get to keep everything they are given, and once they secure a job they can come back for a second dressing and help with mentoring and networking programmes, which are all free.

While clients are never asked to explain why they need help, Dress For Success is used by women from all backgrounds, from students entering the workforce for the first time right through to women who "once had it all but have been set back" and forced to start again.

Ridge says she knows a little of what it's like to be unsure of yourself.

"I am at uni so I know what it's like to stress out about finding a job and not knowing what the right thing is to wear.

"I do think it's quite important to be well dressed. If I was an employer, I think it also shows how much care you put into your work.

''They say if you present yourself well, you'll do everything else well. And when you are well dressed it gives you confidence and makes you feel good about yourself."

Ridge says she often gives away her old clothes - either to friends or charity- and she wouldn't think twice about wearing something 'vintage'.

But she confesses that most of the time you will find her wearing jeans, gym tights and T-shirts.

"When I go out at night or if I'm doing something nice, then I do put a lot of time into thinking about what I'm going to wear.

''But I try not to spend too much money. I have statement pieces like really nice handbags and shoes and a lovely pair of jeans, but I don't go crazy. I don't go and buy $1000 dresses I can only wear once or anything."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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